It’s no secret that most kids beg their parents for a pet of some sort over the course of their childhood. For most parents, they simply have to worry about whether or not they want to take on the responsibility of bringing an animal into the house. But for eczema parents, they have a whole other set of worries.
Will having a pet aggravate my child’s eczema? Can I even get my eczema child a pet?
In short, the answer is yes, you can get your eczema child the pet they’ve been begging for! There are plenty of options that tend to be safe for kids with all kinds of allergies and eczema.
What you need to know about dander, fur and oil:
Dander is one of the biggest concerns when deciding whether or not to bring a pet into the home of a child with eczema or allergies. Because dander is hard to see, it’s often difficult to manage.
When your pet sheds its skin, fur also sheds. This can cause a variety of reactions in a child with allergies ranging from skin irritations to allergies and immune responses.
You’ll want to consider hypoallergenic dogs – they are less likely to irritate your child’s eczema AND you won’t need to vacuum the house every day! The most popular hypoallergenic pups include poodles, yorkies, miniature schnauzers, shih tzu, and maltese.
Fur and oils bring their own baggage! With cats and dogs, fur is unavoidable. But if you brush and bathe your pet regularly, you can keep the problem at bay!
What kind of pets are safe for children with eczema?
Most commonly, when children ask their parents for a pet, it’s a dog! This can be scary for the parents of eczema children because of the dander, oils, saliva, and fur.
But there are ways to ensure you find the most allergy-friendly pal for your little one.
When looking for a dog, use the following criteria:
- Get a smaller dog! It makes sense. The larger the dog, the more dander, oils, saliva, and fur. If you opt for a smaller dog, there will be less of all of the above allergens.
- Choose dogs with curly hair that don’t shed! The dander gets tangled up in the curly hair. This prevents the dander from getting all over the house and all over your child.
- You’ll want to make sure that you train your dog not to lick. This will prevent the spreading of saliva!
Cats are another option. You’ll want to choose a breed with less fur. Similar to when choosing a dog. This will lessen the opportunity for allergens to spread around the house!
When choosing between long haired and short haired cats, opt for short because they shed lighter. Keep in mind that you’ll want to brush your cats outside of the house on a regular basis to prevent indoor shedding.
Is your eczema child asking for a sea creature? Maybe a fish or a turtle? You’re in luck! No hair or dander there! There will be minimal contact between your child and a water-based pet. This could be a great compromise if you’re still uncomfortable getting a cat or a dog!